The Horse's Prayer





To thee, my master, I offer my prayer: Feed, water and care for me; and

when the day's work is done, provide me with shelter and a clean, dry

bed. Always be kind to me. Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the

more gladly and learn to love you. Do not jerk the reins, and do not

whip me when going up hill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not

understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch

me, and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong with

my harness or feet.



Do not overload me or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well

shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat; I may have an ulcerated tooth,

and that, you know, is painful. Do not tie or check my head in an

unnatural position or take away my best defence against flies and

mosquitoes by cutting off my mane or tail.



I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so give me clean, cool water often.

I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me and by signs you

may know my condition. Give me all possible shelter from the hot sun,

and put a blanket on me not when I am working, but when I am standing in

the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth; first warm it by holding

it in your hands.



I try to carry you and your burdens without a murmur, and wait patiently

for you long hours of the day or night. Without the power to choose my

shoes or path, I sometimes fall on the hard pavements, and I must be

ready at any moment to lose my life in your service.



And finally, O, my master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn

me out to starve or freeze, nor sell me to some human brute to be slowly

tortured and starved to death, but do thou, my master, take my life in

the kindest way, and your God will reward you here and hereafter. Amen.





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